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First Nations Culture Groups & Regions Project

INTRO There are many hundreds of First Nations cultures who lived and who still live in Canada. Although each is unique, many groups from particular regions in North America had similar cultures to other groups living nearby. Often they spoke similar languages or hunted for similar sources of food. They may have lived in similar types of homes and had similar traditions and celebrations. In all cases, the geography of their traditional lands – the physical features of the land, the plants and animals that lived there and the weather – influenced the lifestyle of the people. People studying First Nations peoples in North America often divide Canada into six Culture Regions: Subarctic, Pacific Northwest, Plateau, Plains and Eastern Woodlands (Hunters and Farmers). (There is also the Arctic Culture Region where the Inuit people live. However, they are culturally distinct from First Nations people.) YOUR TASK Your task is to become an expert on the peoples from one Culture Region in Canada and to share that knowledge with your classmates. In groups of up to four people, select one Culture Region from the list below: 1. Subarctic 2. Pacific Northwest 3. Plateau 4. Plains 5. Eastern Woodlands – Hunters 6. Eastern Woodlands – Farmers

Select how you are going to share your learning with the class. Some ideas include:    A presentation board (like a Science Fair) A Powerpoint presentation A documentary which you have made

INFORMATION TO INCLUDE In your groups, find out the following about the First Nations peoples that lived in your region. Make sure to include the following information in your project. Your project should have FOUR components. Part 1: Physical Geography 1. Include a map of your Culture Region in Canada 2. Main landforms: What is the land like? Is it rocky? Mountains? Huge lakes? 3. Climate: What is the weather like? Be specific about different seasons. 4. Flora: What plants grow there? What plants were used for food? What were used for building materials and tools? What had other purposes? 5. Fauna: What animals lived there? Which were used for food? Which were used for other purposes? Do any have spiritual significance? Part 2: Human Geography - Traditional 1. Peoples: What First Nations lived in this region? Name them specifically. 2. Languages: What languages were spoken? How many languages are still spoken today? Give examples of some words in a language from your region. 3. Shelter: What were the traditional homes and shelters built by the people in your region? What were they made of? What did they look like? 4. Food: What were the traditional food sources for people in your region? How did they get this food (e.g. Did they hunt? Did they farm? Did they do both? What were some important hunting, farming or gathering techniques that were commonly used?) 5. Clothing: What was traditional clothing like for people in this region? How did they make their clothing? Did they have any traditional embellishments (e.g. beading) or symbolism (e.g. headdresses)? 6. Transportation: How did people in this region traditionally get around? Did they build vehicles? How did they transport their stuff? 7. Arts, Recreation and Celebrations: What are some art forms or leisure activities that come from this region traditionally? What are some ways that people from this region would have celebrations? 8. Spirituality and Traditions: What are some common traditional beliefs of people from this region? Find one traditional story from this region to share with the class.

Part 3: Human Geography – Modern 1. Language: What languages are still spoken in your region today? 2. Arts and Culture: Give an example of one or more modern examples of arts that have been produced by people from this region (can be visual art, music, dance, theatre or literature) 3. Popular Culture: Find information about a noteworthy person (e.g. a celebrity) from that region. Give some information about their life and why they are noteworthy. 4. Modern Life & Current Issues: What is modern life like for First Nations people in this region? What issues are facing First Nations people in this region today? Sharing Activity 1. Find something that would be fun and would take about 10 - 20 minutes to share with the class that teaches something about the First Nations people from your region. Maybe there’s a short film or YouTube clip that you could show. Maybe there’s a craft or art activity that everybody could do. Maybe there’s a picture book that you could read to the class. Maybe there’s a food that we could eat and share. Coordinate this with Ms. Main ahead of time. She can help you with materials and stuff. Be creative and think of something fun!

RESOURCES Here’s a great list of resources that you can use to find this information and get you started. Your Textbooks: The Aboriginal Perspectives Textbook, pages 8 – 13. An interactive website by Historica about the Culture Groups: The Canadian Encyclopedia entries on Culture Groups link from here: This is long, but the first parts deal with the Culture Groups: Under the heading ‘Map Two – Cultural Approach’ there are links to more information about each group: This website has great information about traditional stories and teachings from five different Nations: Cree, Blackfoot, Ojibway, Mohawk and M’ikmaq: This website is a great resource of Native languages spoken in Canada. Look on the left hand side of the page for a list of different regions of Canada: First Peoples’ Language Map of B.C.: The National Film Board List of films connected to First Peoples of Canada:

Completeness (K) How many of the requested components have you included? How thorough is each component Knowledge & Content (K) How much do you know about the topic? Sensitive & Appropriate (K) How sensitive are you to the respectful ways to discuss First Nations cultures? Do you use language which is culturally acceptable and respectful (e.g. First Nations NOT Indian)? Creativity (T) How creatively is your information presented? Do you have interesting visuals and activities? Is it exciting to look at or watch? Communication (C) How effectively is your learning communicated? If written, do you use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.? If oral, do you speak clearly, engagingly and confidently? If visual, are layouts clear and organized? Collaboration & Groupwork (A) How willing and engaged were you when working with members of your group? Did you do your share of the work? More than your share? Less? Audience Support (A) How supportive are you of other presentations as an audience member?

Level 1 Limited Poor Many components missing

Knows very little about the topic Not very sensitive or appropriate

Level 2 Moderate Fair A few components missing or all components are very brief and vague Knows a little bit about the topic, but has some major gaps Somewhat sensitive and/or appropriate

Level 3 Considerable Quite Good All components are present and sufficiently detailed Knows quite a bit about the topic Considerable sensitive and appropriate

Level 4 Thorough Excellent All components are present, some or all of which are extremely detailed Knows a ton of stuff about the topic Extremely sensitive and appropriate



Not very creative and innovative Somewhat creative and innovative Considerably creative and innovative Extremely creative and innovative

Communicates with limited effectiveness Communicates with some effectiveness Communicates with considerable effectiveness Communicates with excellent effectiveness

Limited success at working with group. Contributes little and makes things difficult for other group members. Rarely present, attentive and respectful. Fine job at working with group. Does some of the work. Very good job at working with group. Does an equal share of the work and allows others to collaborate, too. Usually present, attentive and respectful. Fantastic job at working with group. Does a hefty share of the work and allows others to collaborate, too.

Always present, attentive and respectful.

Sometimes present, attentive and respectful.


Groupwork Reflection
Your Name: ____________________________________________________________ Group Members Names:__________________________________________________ 1. Divide the following diagram to show how you feel the work was divided between your group. Be sure to include all group members, including yourself. Write each person's name and the percentage of their contribution beside their portion.

2. Draw a mouth on the face below to show how happy you are about your experience working with this group.

3. Describe what each person in the group contributed to the final project. Include yourself. ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 4. How do you feel you contributed to this group? Were you happy with your part of the project? ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 5. How do you feel your group members contributed to the project? Explain how you feel about their contribution. ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________